National Resistance Movement (NRM) leaders from the Busoga region have tasked their President Yoweri Museveni to address the challenges affecting the sugar industry.
In their joint statement read out by the State Minister for Lands, Persis Namuganza at Iganga municipal council Primary School in Iganga district on Thursday, the leaders say that both millers and out-growers are outraged by the challenges affecting the sugar industry within Busoga sub-region.
Namuganza said that, under circumstances where millers lack market for their already processed sugar, it is hard for them to purchase out-growers’ cane since they already have surplus processed sugar in their stores.
She further said that the government should improvise means of boosting local investors to construct small scale sugar processing plants which will kill farmers’ over-dependency on already struggling millers who are currently incapacitated to purchase their cane.
Namuganza further asked Museveni to extend financial aid to improve the out-growers’ livelihoods whose sole capital is wasting away in gardens due to lack of a stable market for their mature cane.
On his part, Museveni says that some countries within the East African Community have deficits in sugar supply, however, Uganda’s sugar has failed to penetrate such markets due to high costs of production compared to other high sugar-producing countries like Brazil and Swaziland.
Museveni further promised to bail out struggling cane farmers.
He also told the party leaders to preach NRM’s success story so as to guide Ugandans in making wise decisions during the forthcoming election.
“When you go to talk to people, tell them the success we have got is because of this strategic thinking,” he said.
President Museveni had earlier commissioned the 300-seater MV Sigulu ferry, the largest passenger vessel in Uganda that will connect Namayingo mainland to Sigulu and Lolwe islands on Lake Victoria.